DUSTY RHOADES: Hard to Take Palin Seriously: What If the President Quit in a Huff?
Gov. Sarah Palin's resignation "press conference" on July 3 was a bizarre speech, even for Caribou Barbie.
Oh, I knew to expect the fractured syntax, which is pretty much a given every time Palin takes the stage. The woman makes George W. Bush sound like Cicero. Nor should the whiny assertions of victimhood come as any surprise. Chunks of self-pity, slathered in resentment sauce, are a familiar dish to those who've ever perused the menu at the Wingnut Cafe.
What is unusual is to hear a right-winger actually admit that she can't stand the heat, so she's fleeing the kitchen.
I'm just happy we don't have someone as chief executive or VP who'll walk off the job in a huff if some obscure blogger or late-night talk show host makes a tasteless joke about a member of their family, especially after some of the "witticisms" directed at Obama's wife and daughters.
One far-right blogger wondered which Obama daughter would the first, and I quote, "to get knocked up and have an abortion in the White House," while a rabidly pro-Clinton (later rabidly pro-McCain) site featured Michelle's picture altered to look like a character from "Planet of the Apes."
And yet, somehow, Obama's still doing the job people elected him to do. By contrast, if Palin were president, al-Qaeda wouldn't need bombs or bullets to decapitate the government; they'd only need a bootlegged copy of Photoshop.
Palin's hard-core supporters, of course, cackled with glee, as they do at pretty much anything St. Sarah does. "Look! She's running away! We've really got the liberals where we want 'em now!" One might think this sort of slavish devotion would be odd behavior for people who like to sneer at any Obama supporter as if they were some kind of cultist, but consistency of thought has never been a hallmark of the American Right.
For true, Baghdad Bob-level denial, however, your go-to guy is always William Kristol.
In last week's Washington Post, Smilin' Bill takes an entire column to trot out one of the tiredest and most dimwitted of wingnut cliches in his paean to the Resigning Woman. That being: If you think Sarah Palin is a fool, or at least that she's done a very foolish thing, then you must be terrified of her.
According to Kristol, his "friends in the mainstream media and the Republican establishment tend not only to dislike and disdain Palin, they also want to bury her chances now as a presidential possibility. What are they so scared of?"
Ow! The stupid! It buuuurns!
But wait, there's more. Kristol claims that the "panic" among these unnamed parties "suggests real worry that if she does, she might pull off an upset. Why else the vehement assertions that she's clearly made a terrible mistake? Why else the categorical insistence that her political career is finished? Aren't they all protesting too much?"
Gee, I don't know, Bill. Maybe people are asserting vehemently that your GOP fantasy pinup girl has clearly made a terrible mistake because she's clearly made a terrible mistake? Maybe there's a categorical insistence that her political career is finished because people really believe her political career is finished?
You've got to admit, abruptly walking out on the job Alaskans elected her to less than a year after almost singlehandedly crashing and burning a presidential campaign isn't exactly an obvious springboard to bigger and better things.
I'd say that Kristol's crazy-like-a-fox take on Palin's failin' is overthinking, but I don't think there's a way to put the word "thinking" and "Kristol" in the same sentence without collapsing with hysterical laughter.
(Nope, I couldn't do it.)
Here's a news flash, Mr. K: people don't laugh at Sarah Palin because they're afraid. They laugh at her because she's absurd. Tina Fey didn't concoct her dead-on impersonation of the Wasilla Hillbilly because she's scared of her; she did it because with her winks, fake folksiness, aggressive ignorance, and outrageous, bat-crazy assertions about her foreign policy experience, Palin is the most easily mocked politician in America right now.
But I hope Kristol's right about one thing: I hope Sarah Palin does run for president in 2012, using the same divisive, hateful, "I'm a real American and you're terrorist-loving scum" tactics that proved oh-so-effective last time. She seems incapable of learning from the past, so I'd enjoy seeing her repeat it.
Dusty Rhoades lives, writes, and practices law in Carthage.
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